I sometimes have people ask me if there is any way that someone can replicate the medifast diet on their own. I find that many people who ask this question feel that they can save some money by doing this. In my experience, not only is this not the case, but finding healthy foods that are low enough in calories, carbs, and sugars while still high in protein is a very tall order. And, in my opinion, this is going to be needed in order to have the results that you would get on medifast. You'll need to be able to get in ketosis in the same way that you would on the diet and this combination can be quite difficult (and expensive) to find in the grocery or health food store. To demonstrate this point, in the following article, I'll show you some comparisons between medifast foods and popular grocery store items.
Finding Something Comparable To Medifast Oatmeal: Probably the breakfast item that I enjoy the most on this diet is the oatmeal. I know that some people ask me if you can find something similar at the market, but, if there is an alternative, I haven't found it. The diet oatmeal has only 100 calories, 15 grams of carbs, one gram of sugar, and 11 grams of protein. In contrast, Quaker brand has (depending on the flavor) 120 calories, 27 carbohydrates and a high 12 grams of sugar. There is only 3 grams of protein. If you look, you'll likely see that it's very difficult to find a similar oatmeal with the same ratios.
Is There Anything Similar To The Medifast Brownie?: If there is, I haven't found it either. The diet brownie can be served warm and is pretty decadent tasting, yet it only had 110 calories, 15 grams of carbs, 8 of sugar, and 11 of protein. Granted, this product is a bit higher in sugar, but this is factored into the diet and I can't imagine finding another brownie product that is this high in protein while being lower in sugar. I'm very impressed that you're able to eat a brownie while on this diet. Not only that, but there's no restriction on this meal. You can enjoy it quite often if you like it.
Are There Any Compatible Medifast Shakes?: This is the question that I'm most often asked. And I've looked at several, which have come up short of my criteria. The 55 shakes that are in the women's basic package have only 90 calories, 15 carbs, 8 sugars, and 11 proteins. Compare this with special K shakes which have not only 180 calories, but also about ten grams more of sugar, and about 16 more of carbs. Some of the slim fast shakes contain a whopping excess of 200 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 40 grams of carbs.
Grocery Store Bars As Opposed To The Medifast Bars: This diet does have a maintenance bar that is limited to only one per day because the calories, carbs, and sugars are a bit higher. But the crunch bars, which are also quite good, are not limited in this way. Like the other foods, they barely break the 100 calorie mark and only have 12 carbs, two sugars, and 11 grams of protein. Compare that with a bar like Kashi's or special K which has between 11 – 13 grams of sugar.
People will often ask me things like “does 10 additional grams of sugar or carbohydrates really make that much of a difference?” In terms of ketosis, it really can. Every gram counts here and it's very important to get the right ratio of these things with a high enough amount of protein if you're trying to get into fat burning mode. And, as you can have these differences in each of the six meals, over the course of the day, you really can see a very big difference in what you are taking in.
Do You Really Save Any Money At The Grocery Store?: As I said, many people are looking for an alternative because they are trying to save money. In my experience, most anything that is remotely comparable is going to be a very specialized product that is going to be much more expensive than typical groceries. Since with coupon codes you can often get the cost of medifast meals down to just a little over $2, you might not save as much as you think, if anything at all depending on where you live. Not only that, you might still be walking away with more calories, carbohydrates, and sugars (and less proteins) than you would if you went with the diet.